Onus on RCB batters as they eye second win in a row

Virat Kohli. Source: IPL

The distance between the famous Cubbon Park and the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru is roughly around 1 km. But even while nearing Cubbon Park, one could feel the buzz of an IPL game taking place at the nearby stadium.  Right from hundreds of fans wearing Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell’s jerseys to policemen practising how to handle drones, the build-up to any IPL game at the Chinnaswamy Stadium is worth watching. In that sense, it is difficult to visualise the kind of frenzied atmosphere inside the stadium, especially when Kohli is playing a volley of strokes.

On a pleasant night, fans witnessed Kohli’s sublime batting as he raced away to a 49-ball 77, with RCB coming out on top in a hard-fought game against Punjab Kings. That win also helped the franchise to bounce back after slipping to a defeat versus Chennai Super Kings earlier. However, despite getting their campaign back on track, RCB have to find solutions for certain vexing problems ahead of their clash against Kolkata Knight Riders. One of them is the poor form of Rajat Patidar. 

The swashbuckling batter has been struggling for form since he made his Test debut against England. He seems to have gone into a shell in the ongoing IPL. Maxwell and Cameron Green, the Australian duo, haven’t made much of an impression either. On a slightly positive note, Mahipal Lomror showcased his hitting prowess down the order in the previous game. Meanwhile, on the bowling side of things, Alzarri Joseph, one of their main pace bowlers, has taken only a solitary wicket so far.

KKR, their opponent for the next game, have played one and won one. And that one victory came in a topsy-turvy game where the fortunes of both KKR and Sunrisers Hyderabad swung back and forth on many occasions. The KKR camp would be chuffed with how Harshit Rana rose to the occasion during key moments of that game. Although, they would be a tad concerned with Mitchell Starc going for plenty of runs. 

Andre Russell, who was at his bludgeoning best versus SRH, Ramandeep Singh, Phil Salt and Nitish Rana make up for a fine batting unit. And yes, there are concerns surrounding Shreyas Iyer’s back problems.

Time and venue (Friday): 7.30 PM IST, Chinnaswamy Stadium

Expected conditions: At the start of the PBKS-RCB game, the track was a tad slow. It got better to bat as the game progressed. No rain expected during the game.

Team News: 

RCB are set to again look at Lomror as one of the impact subs, while KKR could opt for Suyash Sharma or Manish Pandey. 


“It’s been going on for years (love story with fans at Chinnaswamy). People talk about a lot of other things when you play sport — achievement, stats, numbers. But when you look back, it’s the memories you create. Rahul bhai in the change room says the same nowadays. When you play, play your heart out because you’re going to miss these times. The love, appreciation and backing I’ve received has been amazing,” Virat Kohli.




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